Thursday, 3 January 2013
Three Eclipses - Friday Flash
The geisha strummed the three strings of her shamisen for her Samurai master. The instrument's body encased in catskin that held the sweet vibrations like a purr. Its silk strings fashioned of the same material as the kimono in which she was draped. Three ivory pegs chorusing the hairpins shaping her high chignon hair. The three strings rubbed against one another to conjure up the sound of a whole hive of bees. The plectrum caressing against the body to conjure the rhythms of the hooves of her master's horse. Her fingers palpating the frets to make the instrument sound like sweetly dripping honey.
She was his flower in the pleasure quarters and his willow throughout the rest of the house, as she fed his soul with poetry, dance, calligraphy and grace. At night, to preserve her elaborate hair pinned with turtleshell, she slept with her head on a block and a bed of rice around its base to alert her, were her crown to roll off the wood.
Then came the American bomb clouds that momentarily blotted out the sun and stripped all the leaves from the trees. Those birds not in its vicinity, till crashed in their flying, as they conceived night had descended. The bees disappeared. Turtles retreated inside their shells never to resurface from their hibernation.
Now her silk kimono sat uncomfortably. She could feel the silk writhing over her body, as if the worms sought to reclaim their cocoons for their unborn broods. The shimasen's silk strings came away from the catskin body, as they too protested their indenture. Her master took his pitiless steel and rendered Seppuku. His insides unravelling like the insurgent strings on her shamisen. Her tresses escaped their turtleshell grips. No more of flowers and willows. A perpetual winter had eclipsed Japan's ever rising sun.
The silhouette of an American GI stood behind her shoji. He slid the screen door back, his bulk dimming the whole room. Save for the corona of light from the burning tip of his cigarette waxing and waning as he breathed heavily. Try as she might, she couldn't convince herself that it was a firefly in the night attracted by the scent of her hair's pomade.